KIO Labels Groups Working With Regime In Kachin State As Enemies

The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), one of Burma’s most powerful ethnic armed organisations (EAO), designated the People’s Militia Forces (PMFs), the Border Guard Forces (BGFs) and the political parties that have accepted the military regime as their enemies.

“If the police were actually protecting the people and the PMFs were protecting their areas, we would not be worried. However, these groups are not standing up for the people as long as they cooperate with the military regime,” said KIO spokesperson Col Naw Bu.

Although the KIO Central Committee has not issued an official statement, the information has been posted on the EAO’s website and forwarded to the relevant departments.

Since the coup, PMFs and BGFs have joined the BA in attacks on the KIO’s military wing, the Kachin Independence Army.

The KIO says it rejects all political parties willing to accept Burma’s controversial 2008 Constitution.

Shwe Min, chair of the Lisu National Development Party (LNDP) and leader of a PMF, told KNG he was aware of the KIO’s opposition to his activities.

However, a Myitkyina-based political analyst, requesting anonymity, said: ”In practise, the KIO doesn’t take action against them and therefore these people are not afraid,” he said. This isn’t the first time the KIO has condemned these groups in Kachin State, he explained, some of which will contest the upcoming race under the regime.

More than 30 PMFs are based in Kachin State, some of the more prominent groups are Tangutan in Putao, Pangwa embodying its location and La Sang Awng wa (also called the Gway Htu PMF) in Gway Htu.

In a statement released in mid-May, the KIO in Tanai District called on government employees in Hukawng and Myitkyina districts to resign.

The KIO also banned the sale of beer from army-owned companies in Myitkyina, Putao, Hukawng and Hpakant districts earlier this year, resulting in a dramatic slump in sales.

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